Cholesterol test

Also known as a lipid profile

A simple blood test can measure your cholesterol to assess your risk of heart disease and monitor other conditions

About cholesterol testing

A cholesterol test can be part of a routine heath check. Your consultant may also recommend one if you're overweight, a person with diabetes or they think you may be at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A blood sample will reveal your total cholesterol and the level of other fatty substances in your blood.

Need to know

  • What happens during a cholesterol blood test? icon plus

    The test involves analysing a small sample of blood. This is usually taken from a vein in your arm, but can sometimes be done from a tiny pinprick in your finger.

    A cholesterol test may also be a part of a more comprehensive blood test. Collecting the blood sample should only take a few minutes. Your nurse or phlebotomist will explain the procedure to you.

    If you're concerned about fainting or have worries about needles, you may be able to have a blood sample taken while you're lying down. If the procedure has made you feel lightheaded, you'll be invited to remain in the department until you feel fully recovered.

  • How to prepare for your blood test icon plus

    Your consultant or nurse will explain the test to you and answer any questions you may have. You should let them know if you are taking any blood thinning medication or if you have a condition that makes you more likely to bruise or bleed.

    They will let you know if there is anything specific you need to do to prepare. This may include fasting or avoiding certain foods or medications before your test. Having a blood sample is a straightforward and safe procedure, but it's normal to feel a little anxious. You're welcome to bring a friend or relative with you to your appointment.
  • After your blood test icon plus

    You may have some discomfort, redness or bruising in the area after your test, but this shouldn't last long. Your test results will usually be available within a couple of days. Your consultant will explain how to understand the different types of cholesterol measured.

    • Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is often called 'bad' cholesterol
    • High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is considered 'good' cholesterol.

    High levels of LDL can clog your arteries and put you at greater risk of a heart attack or stroke. Depending on your results, your consultant might recommend diet, medication or lifestyle changes to help lower your cholesterol.

Our locations

From straightforward diagnostic blood tests to minor and complex procedures, we provide exceptional care across the HCA UK network of hospitals.

Request an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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